Two speeches, one message: Gábor Kuncze and Ferenc Gyurcsány

Below you’ll find two remarkable speeches that were delivered yesterday: the first by Gábor Kuncze, long-time chairman of the liberal SZDSZ, and the second by Ferenc Gyurcsány, former prime minister and head of the Democratic Coalition. Both men said almost the same thing, and they were not alone in their criticism of the arrangement worked out by Gordon Bajnai’s Együtt-2014-PM and MSZP. They were joined by three other politicians who have been active in Hungarian politics over the last twenty or so years.

These speeches preceded Attila Mesterházy’s speech, which signaled the close of the large meeting of those who oppose Viktor Orbán and his government. Thus, the crowd’s demand that Mesterházy embrace the cause of unity is understandable.

* * *

The speech of Gábor Kuncze: My friends! It is from this spot that in 1956 those youngsters began their march for freedom and did something for it. They did what their country demanded and with their action they were written into the annals of world history.

Viktor Orbán knows what he wants and he tells us often without trying to hide anything. In Kötcse, in Tusnádfürdő, and the last time in London. Power for twenty years, riches to the Fidesz political family. Obedience and blind faith. His faithful flock understands his speech.

Kuncze Gabor

Gábor Kuncze

Anyone who wants to put his own freedom into Orbán’s hands and his money into his pockets should vote for him. Anyone who is a political adolescent who wants to have a fatherly leader above him should vote for him.

There is nothing left to uncover about Orbán, and it is not worth wailing over his arrogant power play, over the legalized theft, over the humiliation of citizens, over the fraudulent election in Baja. One mustn’t moan but must do something. If we are stranded with the mafia government of Orbán it will be not his but our disgrace.

Yes, our disgrace because those who want what Orbán does are few but still enough. In vain are we more numerous; we are still few. More than half of the electorate wants to get rid of this government, yet today Fidesz would still win the election. Because the democratic forces at the moment are unfit for the realization of society’s expectations.

The collaboration of opposition forces today consists of divvying up the meager leftovers after an expected defeat. Their main concern is who will receive how many places on the solace lists of a common defeat. I don’t ask for a place on these lists either for myself or for my fellow liberals. Because this fight cannot be won by sharing the spoils under the guise of cooperation.

It is not cooperation when the most important consideration of the negotiating partners is that after the lost election they will be able to form a separate parliamentary caucus, even if only with a few people. As if they were fighting for separate graves on the grounds of a common cemetery.

We cannot allow that to go on because we would be betraying the Hungary of freedom, civic virtues, and solidarity.

Today many of us follow each other on the stage. This is a large step for the parties but a rather small one for the country. Let’s speak clearly at last and let’s not celebrate something that should have been done a year ago and which, in its present form, time has already passed by. What kind of tennis players are we to wait a year to return Fidesz’s serves?

Therefore

• First of all: the election can be won only in the electoral districts. Therefore we must together find and support those candidates who have the best chance of winning. It is not enough to extort at the negotiating table electoral districts without strong candidates and without the appropriate organization. Beside every candidate’s name there must be the name of the common organization that will embody the collaborating parties.

• Second: there must be a common list because that makes the voter’s choice easier and that is what motivates them most. The question is not how many people want a change of government but how many people believe that change is possible. A common list also means a common list leader. If that cannot be achieved by the negotiating parties, we will have to think further. If you cannot achieve that on your own, the electorate will have to force your hand.

• Third: With the provisions of the new electoral law the government legalized the possibility of electoral fraud. Let us not have any illusion: if Fidesz needs it, they will commit fraud. Therefore, by the time of the election we must organize the widest possible monitoring system.

Failure to do everything possible for the recovery of our lost freedom would mean a betrayal of our compatriots. It is not enough to love freedom and democracy. One must want them and do something for them. My friends! We will not write world history as those young people did in 1956, but we are responsible for our children and we owe something to the memory of those heroes. We must also do what the homeland demands!

* * * 

The speech of Ferenc Gyurcsány:

Good day!

Seemingly I will speak of politics. But only seemingly. Because what I will be talking about first and foremost is morality.

A few days ago I may have met you personally on Szabadság Square. It was at that time that I said: “I will say straight out what others try to avoid. I take full responsibility for what others shirk from.”

There is no time for political maneuvering.  There is no time to tell only half-truths.

So, I will say again in plain language: if we continue this way we will lose next year’s election and with it the cause of freedom, the cause of the republic, the chance for advancement and a truly European existence.

Source: fel.hu / Photo Attila Szakonyi

Source: fel.hu / Photo Attila Szakonyi

I know Viktor Orbán. Twice I took part in a campaign that ended in his defeat. I know that Hungary today is led by a mendacious political scoundrel. We’ve said it already a hundred times, we’ve said it a thousand times but, tell me, how much better off are we by saying it one more time?

How far would that take us? After all, together we have already decided on the verdict: Orbán must go! We say that together with the voters who want change, and the voters are right. But while the majority wants to see Orbán gone, and this is also what the parties and movements of the opposition want, today our cause is languishing.

Why are we facing this situation?

Because in order to be victorious over Orbán, first and foremost we must conquer ourselves. Conquer our bad habits, our faintheartedness, dissension, and selfishness.

But the voters don’t say only this. They don’t say only—how does the slogan go?—Orbán, beat it! No, they don’t say only that. They also tell us how it can be done. They say it clearly, loudly, unreservedly that we, the parties, the movements, the supporters of the opposition, must unite. To unite not half-heartedly but tightly holding on to each other.

Orbán must be confronted with an unequivocal , united challenge. We need a unified bloc of opposition parties. In order to be victorious over Orbán we need a common program, a common candidate for prime minister, a common party list, and common candidates.

What stands in the way of a unified bloc?

Perhaps the machinations of the government? No!

The will of God? Of course not!

Perhaps some unavoidable legal pettifoggery? Not at all!

We ourselves are the impediments. Our acquiescence in the less instead of the adequate.

In the last analysis it is the lack of magnanimity, the inability to compromise, the selfishness, and the impenetrable personal ambition. For all this it is not Orbán who is responsible; we are.

We remember October 1956 as the great moment of the Hungarian people. A moment when the cause of the country was greater than fear, when patriots were ready to give their lives for the cause of freedom and victory over tyranny. But it is not enough to talk about those heroes. One must understand their example.

Today nobody has to die for his country. Today a great deal less would be sufficient. It would be enough to seriously think and seriously do everything that is possible to bring about the fall of Orbán, the defeat of tyranny.

The party I lead, the Democratic Coalition, is the most implacable opponent of Orbán. With us there is no bargain, no compromise, no arrangement. As chairman of this party, I will be working until next spring and even after for the creation of a Hungary of free citizens. To create a free, welcoming home from this homeland.

But let me speak clearly, firmly, and unequivocally: to talk about unity but not do anything about it is not enough. One mustn’t just talk about collaboration, one must create its preconditions. It is not enough to talk about collaboration; one must actually collaborate.

I say what others side step: I will do everything possible to remove all obstacles in the way of a strong, unified republican oppositional bloc. Because we must subordinate everything else to that goal.

So, I will be explicit!

The opposition needs one leader. Not two, not three, not eight but one. Only one. A leader who can unite all democrats, who can lead us to victory. Whoever is unable to do this, whose ambitions hinder an all-embracing cooperation, must rethink his role. There can be no compromise here. And if there is no solution forthcoming—let’s talk clearly—then a new leader must be asked to be the candidate for the post of premiership. Because the opposition needs a common leader! Not two, not three, not eight!

The opposition needs only one party list. Naturally, the political leaders nationwide want to be part of the legislature in order to represent the ideas in which they believe. And that’s how it should be. But if someone’s parliamentary ambitions prevents the setting up of a common list of the republican oppositional bloc, then that person must let someone else take his place. And let me speak clearly again: If I were such an obstacle—I believe that I’m not—but if I were, I would retire from the race.

Because I’m not fighting for a seat in parliament. I am fighting for victory. Not victory for me but for us, the citizens of democratic Hungary. And there shouldn’t be any misunderstanding: I will do everything in my power to reach that goal. If necessary I will plough up the country from left to right to offer an example of struggle, passion, straight and plain talk.

To conclude, as Gábor Kuncze, my friend and colleague, said: the republican opposition should have in every district only one common candidate. Today this is not the case. We must agree and we must be willing to withdraw our candidates in a proportional fashion. There is no other way and we in the Democratic Coalition are ready to do just that. Then you should be ready to do it as well! One mustn’t be selfish, one must be ready to sacrifice. The service of the country is paramount. At any price!

The negotiations mustn’t be closed, but must be opened up again! The new constitution was supposed to be cut in granite and yet by now they have amended it six times. They keep amending it because what is not democratic cannot be lasting. And the agreement our colleagues signed is not democratic, not lasting because it doesn’t satisfy the will of the democratic voters. Therefore, we must negotiate, negotiate, and at the end agree. The sooner the better. It might be tomorrow, but at the latest in the spring. We are ready.

And at the very end, in closing.

My dear friends. I’m not worried about the Democratic Coalition. We will be in the next Parliament. I should add that I’m not worried about myself because I—to the sorrow of some and I hope to the delight of many—will remain a politician and will lead my party to success.I’m worried about my homeland.

I would do anything to enable her to be free again and the home of hope and quietude.

I will fight for that.

For Hungary and for the Republic!

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tappanch
Guest

Kuncze for prime minister.

His speech was excellent, but I have a different argument for him.
He is the only politician in Hungary with a healthy sense of humor.

„Akinek humora van, mindent tud, akinek nincs, az mindenre képes…”

[If someone has a sense of humor, s/he knows everything,
if s/he does not have it, s/he is capable of doing everything.]

HiBoM
Guest

I hope you aren’t suggesting that Kuncze should keep his job?

Tappanch, I’ve met Kuncze and he is a very amusing and likeable person. But he has done nothing in his career to suggest he can run a bath, let alone a country. Hungary is in a mess and needs someone who has some technocratic skill. In truth, Bajnai proved he has some inkling in this regard. Kuncze hasn’t and presided over an extremely corrupt party. He is part of the disease and should disappear.

slambert
Guest

Kuncze, Fodor,Bokros, Mesterházy, Bajnai, Feri–they are all well-intentioned men who have intelligent things to say about the political disaster that has befallen Hungary. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of it matters very much in the face of the Orbánian juggernaut. I’m convinced that we are simply going to have to hunker down and wait for this dark
force to burn itself out.
http://theorangefiles.hu/

Guest

Thanks, slambert, for your very interesting blog, though it’s getting almost too much for me to keep up with all of this info – and at the same time watching the developments in Orbánistan with a kind of helpless feeling …

“we are simply going to have to hunker down and wait for this dark force to burn itself out.”

I share your pessimism there, but I’m too old anyway to see much change (for the better) in Hungary …

Joe Simon
Guest

Gyurcsány is an idiot. Kuncze is passé. Whatever they say is saur grapes.

Mutt
Guest

Joe,

Do you mind explaining why is Mr Gyurcsany an idiot?

petofi
Guest

Joe Simon :
Gyurcsány is an idiot. Kuncze is passé. Whatever they say is saur grapes.

And YOU…are a SCHMUCK.

The ‘problem’ with Gyuncsany is that he puts faith in common idiots like yourself to be able to see and comprehend the truth. But you insist on floundering in the dark–oh the pleasures of idiocy!

tappanch
Guest

@slambert

I am not so sure about your estimate of 300,000 marchers for Orban.

Personally, I am not able to judge, because I saw only the leaders of the march when I was passing by – and I shouted at them, then was immediately surrounded by their henchmen as I described two days ago.

As I remarked earlier, marching crowds always look much larger – once I estimated the factor, density must be smaller, it is like heating gas in physics.

But look at some of the photos taken on Hosok tere [this will be my fourth attempt to post the link].

Orban’s stage was in the middle of the square. there were no people behind him.
There were no people towards district 13.

So people did not fill the square, they had to accumulate on Andrassy street, giving
excellent opportunity for official photos showing huge crowds in the direction of Andrassy street. Good stage work on the part of Fidesz organizers. In other words, the crowd occupied just part of the huge Hosok tere plus a long but relatively narrow street.

The link for the photos will come separately, because I think the blog software does not like
something in address format of the link

tappanch
Guest
tappanch
Guest

OK, the blog software rejected the link for a fourth time

I will try differently, using [explanations] instead of a direct link

nepszava.hu/galeria/341-orban-es-a-bekemenet-a-hosok-teren [3 dashes. no space] kepek [3 dashes. no space] kepgaleria

JGrant
Guest
Joe Simon : Gyurcsány is an idiot. Kuncze is passé. Whatever they say is saur grapes. Well, this just about sums it up for me. A country that is full of people like this does not deserve to have freedom and democracy. Misery, pessimism, defeatism – poisons all. Having said that, I do not believe that Hungary is only capable to produce these miseryguts. I take heart from the chanting for unity on Wednesday. I don’t believe that it was done deliberately to drown out Mesterhazy, it was just simply how the crowd felt. All of you who cannot rise above the petty squabbles of the past, please leave or shut up! I do not want another 4 years of Orbanistan and I am not alone. Unity should not be at any cost. I disagreed with whoever it was that said a day or two ago that the details are unimportant, they can be worked out later. No, that is only a recipe for disaster. Every movement has to have its own principles, policies and phylosophy. But tactics is another matter. Principled alliances coupled with good tactics are what bring victory. People who unite on that basis can respect each… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

OK, I tried to upload the address seven times. In the link, I substituted dashes and slashes with text, but the blog software still cannot take the reference to the photos.

The address might contain a word reserved to wordpress.
I am depress-ed.

Mutt
Guest

Tappancs, try bit.ly or other url shortener.

tappanch
Guest

Thank you, Mutt!

http://bit.ly/1aJHEFF

tappanch
Guest

Look at the upper row of photos, first and second form the right.

Guest

OMG – these turd-brown uniforms – who designed those and selected the colour?

Unbelievably ugly – and they also remind me of the “brownshirts” of Hitler’s SA!

oneill
Guest
When we were out walking the dog on Wednesday afternoon many of the Orbanists were heading off home after hearing their Messiah confirm their world view. Very few youngsters, very few families, mainly a crowd of OAPs or soon to be OAPs. It strikes me that the democratic opposition are not prepared to put in the hard ground work that fascists did in the period post Orban’s defeat in 2002 and 2006. Don’t tell me that there aren’t people in every village and town in Hungary who haven’t lost out one way or the other in the last 3 years. Who is sacrificing their time (and money) to organize them into the same type of political machine Fidesz/Jobbik have throughout Hungary? Roll on October 23rd, March 15th, August 20th or whenever all the democrats pop out for the big grandstanding speeches which manage to grab diddly-squat squared votes where it really matters. Orban’s mafia in the meantime walk the highways and byways of the villages and towns bribing a pensioner here, intimidating anyone who dares to speak out against them there. I am not saying the democrats should employ the same level of criminality and thuggery as the regime, but… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

@oneill

Orban has 100 times as much money to spend as the democratic opposition.

Good leadership would diminish this advantage, but Mesterhazy is not a leader.

Deutsch was not exaggerating this time in his blog:

Mesterhazy would have reached a mid-level position in the tiny fake mirror party KDNP of Fidesz, but his class is not above that.

oneill
Guest

“Orban has 100 times as much money to spend as the democratic opposition.”

Maybe now but not in 2002 or 2006.
And anyway, money isn’t the entire difference.
Orban (or more accurately his minions) put in the necessary hard work at the ground level during the period of opposition to build the kind of structure they benefit from now. I don’t see the democratic opposition wanting to put in the same manhours.

tappanch
Guest

Orban just ordered the establishment of the n^th “historical institute” to “strengthen national consciousness”, i.e. to spread government propaganda.

The name of the new institute is “veritas”.

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20131025_veritas_kutatointezet_kormany

Fidesz borrowed another page from Orwell.

Kirsten
Guest

oneill, how true.

Kirsten
Guest
About Gyurcsany’s speech. “I know Viktor Orbán. Twice I took part in a campaign that ended in his defeat.” And then in 2009 and 2010, unfortunately these two defeats turned into a defeat of democracy. So what exactly should I learn from this sentence? I somehow miss an assessment of the role of the “democrats” in the breakdown of the post-1989 political system. Because it is also this unhappy period before the “revolution” of 2010 that makes cooperation currently so difficult. Apparently it is not easy to trust other politicians, including Ferenc Gyurcsany, that they know what cooperation means in practical terms. “Because in order to be victorious over Orbán, first and foremost we must conquer ourselves. Conquer our bad habits,…” For instance the bad habit of lecturing and provoking the public by just not accepting a role in the background: “If I were such an obstacle—I believe that I’m not—but if I were, I would retire from the race.” “I should add that I’m not worried about myself because I—to the sorrow of some and I hope to the delight of many—will remain a politician and will lead my party to success.” “The opposition needs one leader. Not two,… Read more »
Ron
Guest

Anybody? What happened with the tomb of the unknown soldier on Heroes square. People were standing on it?

Ron
Guest

wolfi :
OMG – these turd-brown uniforms – who designed those and selected the colour?
Unbelievably ugly – and they also remind me of the “brownshirts” of Hitler’s SA!

Never mind about the uniforms they have them for a long time. But now I understand.
These are the guys that normally guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Since VO needs the space to walk on it. They had to move them to the stage and put some flags in their hand, in stead of the obligatory weapon.

Ron
Guest

OT The Global Gender Gap report 2013 by the World Economic Forum was issued yesterday. Of the 136 countries Hungary’s overall position is 87 (page 21).

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2013.pdf

In 2011 is was 85 position, and in 2007 around 65.

Ron
Guest

Standard & Poor has a negative outlook on Hungary economically.
http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2013/10/25/sp-affirms-hungary-junk-rating-warns-of-debt-vulnerability/

Please note,”Public debt stood at 81.1% of gross domestic product at the end of June, down by 4 percentage points since the current government came into power”.

This includes the pension reduction of 7 percent. So the government is performing worse. It is criminal.

Ron
Guest

tappanch :
@oneill
Orban has 100 times as much money to spend as the democratic opposition.
Good leadership would diminish this advantage, but Mesterhazy is not a leader.
Deutsch was not exaggerating this time in his blog:
Mesterhazy would have reached a mid-level position in the tiny fake mirror party KDNP of Fidesz, but his class is not above that.

Why would anybody who is normal and honest, a Christian want to reach a mid-level position in the tiny fake mirror party KDNP of Fidesz?

Only for this reason Mesterhazy should be become Leader.

tappanch
Guest

@Ron,

As the wsj article mentions, the MaNyuP retirement funds were worth 10% of the GDP, not 7% you mentioned. They spent 93% of this money since 2011. So the real debt to the market and to the future retirees is above 90%.

http://akk.hu//kepek/upload/2013/NYRA_pf_honlapra_20130731.pdf

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